So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Talladega AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Talladega AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Talladega AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Talladega AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Talladega AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Talladega AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Talladega AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Talladega AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Talladega AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Talladega AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Talladega AL colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Talladega AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Talladega X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right radiology tech school is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Talladega Alabama.